Gunmen attack Iran military parade, killing at least 8

Larry Hoffman
September 22, 2018

At least twenty-four people were killed and more than 50 wounded in an attack on an army parade in southern Iran, according to the latest toll by the official IRNA news agency.

The state-run IRNA news agency put the number of wounded at 20, including a woman and a child.

Earlier reports described the attackers as "Takfiri gunmen", a term used in the past to describe the extremist Islamic State group.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the assault in Ahvaz, which saw gunfire spray into a crowd of marching Guardsmen, bystanders and government officials watching from a nearby riser.

The Revolutionary Guards are the most powerful and heavily armed military force in the Islamic Republic and also have a vast stake worth billions of dollars in the economy.

Other armed security personnel shouted at each other in front of what appeared to be a viewing stand for the parade. Paramedics could be seen helping someone in military fatigues lying on the ground.

State television showed images of the immediate aftermath.

Mojtaba Zonnour, a member of the Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told Tehran-based al-Alam News Network that the number of the martyred of a Saturday terrorist attack at a military parade in Ahvaz has risen to 29, with 57 injured, including women and children.

An unnamed spokesman for the Revolutionary Guards blamed Arab nationalists, who he said were backed by Saudi Arabia, ISNA reported.

The attack struck on Ahvaz's Quds, or Jerusalem, Boulevard.

Saturday's attack comes after a coordinated June 7, 2017, Islamic State group assault on parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran.

The rare attack targeted Khuzestan, a province bordering Iraq that has a large ethnic Arab community, many of them Sunni, and was a major battleground of the devastating 1980-88 conflict between Iran and Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

The assault shocked Tehran, which largely has avoided militant attacks in the decades after the tumult surrounding the Islamic Revolution.

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